It was more than just a groundbreaking on Thursday, September 12 (that started during a brief downpour) near the train tracks on Montaño between Edith and Second Street NW. The first shovelfuls of mud meant that the much anticipated Montaño Transit Center was finally becoming reality. Mayor Richard J. Berry, ABQ RIDE Director Bruce Rizzieri and a host of guests broke ground on the site of this soon-to-be transit hub in the North Valley, which will serve both ABQ RIDE and New Mexico Rail Runner Express customers.
The $7.1 million station (78% federal money, 22% local funding) will serve Albuquerque’s growing North Valley and Montaño/Montgomery river-crossing corridor. The pueblo-revival style rail platform features a 291-space parking lot to handle transit riders using ABQ RIDE buses and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express. The center will also feature bus bays, bike racks and lockers and free Wi-Fi service.
“This new station will bring greater access to affordable, public transportation to a whole new segment of Albuquerque’s population,” said Mayor Richard J. Berry. “It also has the potential to open up the area to more economic development, if not redevelopment of the area.”
G. Sandoval Construction was awarded the winning bid for the construction of the Transit Center In early August. Sandoval has offices in Albuquerque and Las Cruces and is the contractor for Las Cruces’ Intermodal Transit Center, which opened this summer.
“The Montaño Transit Center is a foundation for planning for future transit service in the North Valley and east/west connections such as Montaño-Montgomery, as well as connections to a Rail Runner station,” said Bruce Rizzieri, Director of ABQ RIDE. “And its green features, such as LED lighting and solar panels, will serve as a template for similar construction in the future.”
The project is expected to be completed in March 2014.
Commission Vice Chair Debbie O’Malley applauded the September 12 groundbreaking for the new Montano Transit Center in the North Valley. Commissioner O’Malley led the effort to advocate for the project and apply for $6.7 million in federal funds that made the new transit center possible.
“This new transit center is great news for not just the North Valley but the greater Albuquerque metro area,” Commission Vice Chair Debbie O’Malley says. “This new facility provides more options to travelers, from taking a ride on the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, to catching a bus, organizing a carpool or commuting by bicycle.”
Commissioner O’Malley worked on this issue during her tenure on the Albuquerque City Council. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2010 as part of the Bus and Bus Livability Grant Program.
“I also want to thank the North Valley neighborhood associations, state Rep. Ed Sandoval, and former state Sen. Dede Feldman for their support and advocacy that helped make this project a reality,” Commission Vice Chair O’Malley says.